The Better Transit and Transportation Coalition unites supporters to vote “Yes” for dramatic and needed transit improvements

VANCOUVER, February 5, 2015 — Organizations representing business, labour, student, environmental and health sectors brought hundreds of supporters together today to commit to voting “Yes” in Metro Vancouver’s upcoming transportation referendum.

In just a few weeks, over 90 diverse organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members have rallied around a “Yes” vote for the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council Plan to dramatically improve transit and transportation for the region. The “Yes” coalition has become the largest and most diverse coalition in support of a single issue in B.C.’s history.

“It speaks to how important transit and transportation is for everyone,” said Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation. “These diverse groups are united in their knowledge that this referendum is one of the most important decisions facing our region, for the economy, environment, health and our quality of life.”

“People from all walks of life know that we cannot afford to stand by as congestion worsens throughout the region,” said Vancouver Board of Trade president and CEO Iain Black. “Gridlock is costing our economy dearly and we must dramatically improve the movement of goods, services and people if we want to remain competitive.”

“As we prepare for one million more people in the region by 2040, choosing to make dramatic transportation improvements now is the only way we will ensure a high quality of life for everyone,” said Bahareh Jokar, VP external at the Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia.

Improvements in the plan include better, more frequent service on existing SkyTrain and bus routes, light rail lines in Surrey and Langley, Broadway Corridor rapid transit, replacement of the Pattullo Bridge and 11 new B-Line bus routes throughout the region.

“The Mayors’ Council Plan will encourage our economy to grow and allow more residents to contribute through better access to jobs,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s B.C. Area director. “Everyone benefits from more efficient transportation and transit.”

The Mayors’ Council Plan will cut traffic congestion by 20 per cent, shortening commute times by up to 30 minutes a day for some routes, and give 70 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents access to more frequent transit service.

“This is the single greatest opportunity we have ever had to build a transportation system that is better for people, better for business and better for the environment,” Black said. “We can’t afford to wait, it’s time to vote YES to take action now.”

The BTTC is a formal non-profit society with a common purpose, appointing four co-chairs representing business, labour, environment and student groups, among others. All are encouraging Metro Vancouver residents to vote “Yes” in the binding plebiscite mail-in ballot, which takes place from mid-March through the end of May.

About the BTTC:

The Better Transit and Transportation Coalition is a new coalition — the biggest, most diverse ever in B.C. — supporting the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council Plan to dramatically improve transit and transportation in our region. The BTTC has more than 90 organizational supporters representing more than 250,000 Metro Vancouver residents, including organizations from business, labour, environment, student, community, health and other groups. Learn more at: Follow us on Facebook BetterTransitInfo

For media information, please contact:

Greg Hoekstra
Communications Manager, The Vancouver Board of Trade
t. 604-640-5450